Monthly Archives: February 2012

Jumping to Conclusions: How soon is too soon?

Me: (in as contrite a tone that I could muster) “Sorry madam”
She: (disdainfully) “Nimma sorry nu beda, nimma dudu beda! Hogri!” or “Dont need your sorry or your money! Get lost!”
Ouch! That hurt.

So, having read that conversational exchange , what conclusions have you jumped to, dear reader? Hopefully none. Some of you may have read Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink where he writes about how our mind tends to process partial information and how it is at times useful, and at other times, not so.  As my dear friend AC would say, “The human mind is wired to be this way. Overcoming this requires a lot of effort.” Not easy at all.

This happened a few years back.  I had gone to a shop nearby to get additional keys made for the front door of my home.  “Computerised duplicate keys made here” was what they said. Job done, paid for, came home and tried to open the door with the new keys.  Surprise surprise…two of the three keys I got made did not work.  So much so for computer control. :/ Who wrote the #*@# software for that machine?  Not me!

The complementary key chain provided by the shop had a number on it.  I called and complained about the shoddy job done.  The person asked me to bring the keys back to the shop and said it can be fixed easily. Why not do the job right  the first time itself was my thought.

So, I went back, and despite my best attempt to get their attention to my problem, no one seemed to be interested.  This is not what I was expected after the phone call, so I lost my cool, and said a few harsh things to them.  Now, with other customers around, the store owner, a lady, possibly felt the need to control the damage being caused to their reputation.  She flatly denied that they had got any call from me just a few minutes before, and that I was, in effect, lying! Wonder what my blood pressure was at that point?  Luckily for both of us, an employee of the shop stepped in at this point and asked me for the number that I had called.  I thrust the key chain into his hand and asked him to read it for himself.  He did.

And said “Ah saar! Neevu namma VVPuram shop call madidira!” or “You have called our VV  Puram shop”.  So, here is what had happened.  The store near my home was new branch.  The key chain had the number of their older branch in another part of town.  I felt quite sheepish at having lost my cool, and consoled myself thinking “How the hell was I supposed to know?”.  In the meantime, a technician had done some more work on the keys, and even offered to come along with me to check out whether it worked or not.  So before leaving, I decided to apologise to the store owner, and …well, you know the rest. 🙂

So, dear reader, I hope you can find an answer to the question – how soon is too soon to jump to conclusions?  I did!  Not that I remembered.  But, more about that for later.